Autographed football cards, and football cards in general, started to grow in popularity during the early 1980s. When manufacturers realized this, they wasted no time in producing more and more cards for the consumer.
By the 90s, companies started releasing all sorts of special sets and limited edition items, including rookie sub sets, die cut cards, motions cards, numbered cards and refractors. Now, collectors can purchase a wide array of autographed football cards and even game-worn jersey swatches.
Tips for Football Card Collectors
If you�re going to start a football card collection, here are a few things to keep in mind. These tips will make the hobby easier and more profitable, and you won�t end up with a closet full of Koy Detmer cards.
How old are the cards? New cards and pre-1980 cards are the most likely to be worth money.
Is the card in good condition? If it�s not, then the card is basically worthless (unless it�s really, really old).
Rookie cards are always worth collecting.
When in doubt, consult the official Beckett price guide. This is the bible of sports card prices.
New stars are born every year. Therefore, it�s a good idea to hold on to all your rookie cards, even the ones for players who have failed to impress so far. This year�s bust is next year�s breakout star (I�m still waiting for Koy Detmer to explode).
The Value of Autographed Football Cards
When looking for autographed football cards, always be sure to check and see if the signature can be verified. In recent years, card companies have started certifying autographs, and this has done wonders for their value.
But older cards with a ball-point signature on the front or back may be worthless, as there�s no way to determine who actually signed it. For example, I recently saw autographed Warren Moon and Lawrence Taylor cards on eBay. Neither card had been bid upon, because there was no verification available.
To give you an idea of what certified autographed football cards are worth, just check out the list below. Some of these were cards listed on eBay, while many others come straight from the Beckett website. As you can see, NFL autographs are a valuable commodity when properly verified.
2006 Ronnie Brown Upper Deck NFL Artifacts Autograph Card $23.25